Advice please! - TA and Regular AOSB.

Discussion in 'Officers' started by YH515, Jul 8, 2010.

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  1. Hi guys,

    I was hoping you could offer some advice on joining the TA, and applying for a regular commission. I have had a look and hope this is the right place for it.

    I attended AOSB about a year ago, after uni., and failed, but was advised to go back in a year/18 months with a bit more life experience. Since then I have been travelling and working, and am now looking to start reapplying for a regular commission.

    However I’d also hoped to join the TA in the interim, but because of work have only just become able to commit. The consensus on here seems to be that joining the TA would be very positive, but I still have a few queries.

    Would it reflect badly at AOSB if it seemed as though my only interest in the TA was as a means to an end? I appreciate to some extent that is what I’m doing, but I am still very committed and more than willing to get fully involved in training for the six months of waiting for a board, and am keen to do a tour either before AOSB/Sandhurst or afterwards if things don’t go so well again.

    When I spoke to my Careers Advisor she seemed very dismissive of the idea, but didn’t seem to offer any rational explanation of why it would be a bad idea.

    It also presents the problem of application –I need to give details of other applications or service, so should I try to do one or the other first? I don’t want to look as though I’m trying to sneak through on one or the other, or look as though I’m not committed to joining.

    Having spoken to my local unit they seem quite keen, and are in an area where I can do two weeks basic training,( rather than weekends) then Catterick. I’m waiting to speak to my boss formally, but have got cleared by my HR, so don’t foresee any problems with work.

    Any thought either way? Any advice would be very much appreciated.
     
  2. When I applied for the Royal Marines years ago, I thought that the best way would be to join as a Reserve first, but it was not well-received by the local Reserve Unit due to the fact that you have to go through the full procedure to join the Reserves AND THEN the full procedure to join the Regulars. They thought it would be a better idea to join a British Military Fitness club and train up that way to save stop-starting my application.

    As for your Careers Advisor. She's there for one purpose: To advise you. The choice is yours at the end of the day and you should follow any lead that you think will get you to where you want to be.
     
  3. msr

    msr LE

    It all depends on how you 'sell' your time in the TA. "Means to an end" or "Ideal opportunity to dip my toe in the water, confirmed my beliefs about wanting to join, pleased with the experience I gained etc, etc"

    Just be open and honest with the TA unit you are planning on joining

    msr
     
  4. Thanks a lot for the reply.

    The recruiting Cpl. I spoke to at the unit seemed fairly keen, and just 'strongly hinted' that I shouldn't make too big a thing about wanting to leave within a set time frame. Other than than he seemd quite happy to get another recruit.

    Appreciate what you said about speaking to my CA as the best source of information, but would like to hear the reality for both the TA and AOSB side of things, as opposed to the 'official' line.

    Any other thoughts guys?
     
  5. I am in the TA and have my Regular Main Board in a few months. What do you want to know?
    I have learnt so much about the job I want to do- but it is nothing I will not be taught at Sandhurst
    I know some drill, how to handle a SA80 and I got best shot at basic training- but it is nothing I will not be taught at Sandhurst.
    I have a much greater understanding of the Army and how it operates- but it is nothing I will not be taught......blah blah blah

    I hope you see where I am going with this. Everything you learn in the TA will be benificial until about week6! Unless of course you plan on staying in until fullscrew.

    However, if you are joining the TA as a means of passing your Main Board then why the hell not? It can only be a good thing and in no way put you at a disadvantage. The process is rather drawn out so if you have the time I would go for it.

    I am going on tour before my (hopefull) entry to RMAS which probably won't make a jot of difference but I will be able to find comfort in the experience.

    Just my thoughts but what do I know!
     
  6. It may also take you 6mnths to complete the training before you are a qualified soldier. If you can get on a consolidated phase1 course which is two weeks for infantry, you then need to get on CIC an the next course isn't till October. Before you can deploy now you have to do a minimum of 26 weekends. By all means apply i have done this for a similar reason although i've only just started uni. You will learn a lot but be mindful of the time frame it takes to become a qualified soldier.
     
  7. Can I get this right- you want to join the TA as a pte and the regs as an officer? If you want to join the TA as an officer then you will have the same wait for AOSB etc, it is the same board after all.

    The recruiting process at the TA seems to be designed to put hurdles in peoples way at the moment, so please bear in mind it make take around 6 months with paperwork, medicals, visits etc before you even go on your first RSW (weekend).

    You will also have to officially leave the TA before you join the regs and that in itself can be a nightmare.

    My advice, for what it is worth is forget the TA, unless you want to really commit at least 3 years to it (including tour). I know people who have done what you intend to do, but it does take time and commitment. If you want to join the TA as a means to joining the regs (what it sounds like), don't. Go and do some adventure training, teach children in Africa, build a school and expand your life experience!

    Good luck for your second (and last I believe) shot at AOSB. Concentrate on passing that for now.
     
  8. I agree wholeheartedly with this comment, if you had 18 months to 3 years before AOSB then certainly the TA would work to your advantage. Ultimately, it should be a commitment not a stop gap 6 months before Main Board.

    Good luck what ever you decide.
     
  9. I joined my local TA unit in my last year of university as I'd always wanted to serve, but at the time wasn't sure if I wanted to make a full time thing of it. I echo the above comments, it can take AGES to get through the Soldier training, I've been attested for 9 months already and for one reason or another I'm still waiting for the consolidated Part A course, which is the weekends in one big block.

    I have decided however, now I've finished my degree, that I'd like to have a shot at a regular commission. My dilemma now is what to do, the spaces on the courses are under such demand (and the budgets tightening) that I feel I shouldn't take one up with the intention of sodding off to the regulars if I'm able. But if I don't do the course I'm stuck in Recruit troop forever and what questions that may invite at board!

    All in all I wouldn't recommend joining a TA unit with a definite, short, time-scale in mind. They are under pressure to deliver trained soldiers ready and willing to go on tour. Added to that the shortage of funding and the lack of course spaces I think you would be better getting some adventurous training or volunteer work abroad under your belt.
     
  10. Cheers guys, thanks for the replies, they're very much appreciated, and it's interesting see the different opinions.

    I am looking to join the TA as a private, and then ultimately obtaining a regular commission. Would it be worth looking at going down the TA commission route, and then going to Sandhurst for a regular commission with an AOSB pass; or is this taking advantage of the system? I have heard of people doing this, or attending both Sandhurst courses, but how realistic is this?

    My local regiment does do the consolidated course, so I could potentially get trained quicker than if I were elsewhere, but this might still take a while with medicals etc. Would I be at all likely to get on any overseas training or similar with a regular battalion once I am trained as I read somewhere on here?

    I would be interested in an operational tour if posible, but how viable is a TA tour before Sandhurst? Do many people do this?

    Finally then, would it be likely to open opprtunities with regards regimental visits and sponsorship, or would they be more interested in student types over TA soldiers?

    Please keep the replies coming!
     
  11. No. What's the point? I know people that are headed to Sandhurst on the TACC in September- 2.5 years after they first walked in the door and that's without missing anything. You still have to do the recruiting cadre, you just don't do CIC. Fully trained soldier you are looking at 2 years already (with form filling, briefing, board etc).

    We have enough trouble trying to get YOs in the TA without people using it as a 'stop gap'. You will really piss some people off (although ultimately that isn't your problem). I know of 2 people who aimed to do this. They haven't been put forward for the TACC for that very reason.
     
  12. The_Duke

    The_Duke LE Moderator

    Of course, the other option is that your unit will take the sensible approach and support you through TACC for as far as you can take it on the basis that:

    a) it will give you a grounding in the work required of an officer, and hopefully make you think of your TA unit in a favourable light once you obtain your regular commission as they in some way helped you towards getting there.

    b) If you decide not to go regular (for whatever reason) they have a potential TA officer part way through the process.

    That said, if you have less than 2 years to go, don't worry about TACC as you will not have much chance of completing. Less than 12 months and think twice about the TA - spend the time having fun before you get thrashed at RMAS and as a YO.
     
  13. What they said.

    It took over a year for me to get to Pirbright and by the time I go on Herrick it will be nearly 2 years.